LAUGHLIN — A good portion of the recent pay increase Clark County teachers obtained in a near-strike situation will have to be given back by those same teachers, thanks to two new rate increases. Ironically one of them is from the very union that negotiated the increases for them.

According to the Nevada Policy Research Institute, two new rate hikes the teachers face will cost them an extra $1,000 a year starting next year. According to the institute, The first hike came earlier this year when the state retirement system, Public Employee Retirement System, announced an increase that will cost the average Nevada teacher an additional $750 annually.

Then the CCEA voted last month to increase its annual dues to $846, up from $630. Combined, this means that most CCEA members are going to see nearly $1,000 more docked from their paychecks next year: 

The PERS increase, like the several that preceded it, will provide no added benefit to the teacher forced to pay that cost, which will be spent instead on the system’s $14 billion deficit.

The CCEA, meanwhile, plans to spend the extra $2.2 million that it will take from teachers each year to lobby for a $1 billion tax hike. The union claimed that higher taxes and increased spending is the only way to improve Nevada’s public schools, but neglected to explain why the near tripling in spending that has been ongoing since 1960 has failed to improve student performance in 59 years. 

At $10,200 per student, Nevada is already spending an amount comparable to several outperforming nations, like France, Italy and Spain, as well as numerous outperforming U.S. states, like Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

“No organization can be expected to succeed without accountability and transparency,” the NPRI said.

The CCSD operates nearly 400 schools across southern Nevada. Large districts like CCSD lose millions more each year to the more conventional forms of waste and fraud, according to Harvard scholar Lydia Segal. In recognition of this fact, former CCSD Supt. Carlos Garcia in the early 2000s ordered the implementation of a robust financial accounting system designed to prevent fraud and maximize transparency — but the project itself became exactly the kind of financial blackhole it was ostensibly designed to prevent. Despite spending more than $100 million on that project, the system in place today is unable to perform the basic tasks the district cited to justify its purchase in the first place.

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